Economy in Albania

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Economic Overview

Albania, a formerly closed, centrally-planned state, is making the difficult transition to a more modern open-market economy. Macroeconomic growth averaged around 6% between 2004-08, but declined to about 4% in 2009. Inflation is low and stable. The government has taken measures to curb violent crime, and recently adopted a fiscal reform package aimed at reducing the large gray economy and attracting foreign investment. The economy is bolstered by annual remittances from abroad representing about 15% of GDP, mostly from Albanians residing in Greece and Italy; this helps offset the towering trade deficit. The agricultural sector, which accounts for over half of employment but only about one-fifth of GDP, is limited primarily to small family operations and subsistence farming because of lack of modern equipment, unclear property rights, and the prevalence of small, inefficient plots of land. Energy shortages because of a reliance on hydropower, and antiquated and inadequate infrastructure contribute to Albania's poor business environment and lack of success in attracting new foreign investment needed to expand the country's export base. The completion of a new thermal power plant near Vlore has helped diversify generation capacity, and plans to upgrade transmission lines between Albania and Montenegro and Kosovo would help relieve the energy shortages. Also, with help from EU funds, the government is taking steps to improve the poor national road and rail network, a long-standing barrier to sustained economic growth.

GDP—real growth rate: 3.7% (2009 est.)

GDP—per capita: $6,300 (2009 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 23.3%

industry: 18.8%

services: 57.9% (2006 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 2.8% (2006 est.)

Labor force:

total: 1.442 million (2004 est.) (including 352 000 emigrant workers.)

by occupation:

agriculture: 58%
industry: 19%
services: 23% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate: 12% (2009 est.) 

Budget:

revenues: $3.46 billion expenditures: $4.099 billion (2009 est.)

Industries: food processing, textiles and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower

Industrial production growth rate: 3.1% (2004 est.)

Electricity—production: 5.434 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity—consumption: 5.231 billion kWh (2004) 

Agriculture—products: wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, sugar beets, grapes; meat, dairy products

Exports:

total value: $763.2 million f.o.b. (2006 est.)  

commodities: textiles and footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil; vegetables, fruits, tobacco

partners: Italy 72.4%, Greece 10.5%, Serbia and Montenegro 5% (2005)

Imports:

total value: $2.901 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals

partners:  Italy 29.3%, Greece 16.4%, Turkey 7.5%, China 6.6%, Germany 5.4%, Russia 4% (2005) 

Currency: Lek (ALL)

note: the plural of lek is leke 

Exchange rates: Leke (ALL) per US dollar - 93.928 (2009), 79.546 (2008), 92.668 (2007), 98.384 (2006), 102.649 (2005)

Fiscal year: calendar year

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